July 16, 2023: The applications for Canadian Government’s program designed to facilitate issuance of 10,000 3-year Open Work Permits for US H-1B holders is now open.
This initiative is part of the Canadian Government’s broader strategy to attract more tech talent to Canada. Minister Sean Fraser announced this innovative program, set to allow 10,000 US H-1B Visa holders to apply for an Open Work Permit in Canada.
These open work permits will give workers the freedom to work for almost any employer in the country.
To be eligible to apply, applicants must be in the US with a valid H-1B visa. In this article, you will find how to apply, & What you need to submit your application.
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The Announcement of Canada’s Open Work Permit for US H-1B Visa Holders:
On June 27, 2023, Minister of Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada, Honorable Sean Fraser delivered a keynote at the collision conference, where Minister Fraser made an ambitious announcement on Canada’s new strategies to attract more tech talent to Canada.
Click here to Expand the Details of the Announcement made on June 27, 2023
Documents required: Open Work Permit if you are a US H1B Visa Holder:
First, you will need to apply online, so you will need a scanned copy of the following documents, and a credit or debit card:
- A valid passport or Travel Document
- Proof of your H-1B Visa
- Form I-797/I797B, Notice of Action
- This is a letter from the US government confirming your H-1B application was approved.
- Your Passport validity must be more than 3 years
- A recent utility bill, Form I-94 or any other document proving that you are residing in the United States.
If your Spouses or Dependent are applying with you:
- A Valid Passport
- Proof of relationship with the Primary applicant (Holder of the H-1B Visa). Applicants may use a marriage certificate, proof of common law status or other documents showing common address with the primary applicant.
- For dependent children, a proof of birth certificate is required if you are under the age of 22.
How to Apply for Canadian Open Work Permit:
To apply for this work permit, you will need to create a GCKey account, and sign in to the IRCC portal.
Signing up includes receiving a verification code on your email, and after you are done signing up, click on “Apply to Visit, study or work in Canada as a Temporary Resident.”
Select the “Work Permit” option and “an open work permit for an H-1B visa holder” and continue on with the steps on the screen to submit your application for the 3 year open work permit.
Is there a Permanent Residency (PR) Pathway after you get a Canadian Work permit:
A pathway to PR is not offered as part of this program, but once you get a Canadian work permit you will be able to work on your eligibility to qualify for Canadian PR.
Applicants can qualify under many immigration programs offered by the federal government of Canada or provincial government’s programs wherever they decide to live in Canada. Some of the main pathway to Permanent residency are: the main 3 Express Entry programs: Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Workers (FSW), or Federal Skilled Trades.
The Canadian Government also introduced category based selection in the express entry recently, which allows IRCC to invite candidates in specific NOC codes to apply for Canadian PR. This year, 82 occupations are selected including Tech Occupations, Trades, Healthcare and so on. Applicants with work experience in these NOCs have higher chances of being invited to apply for PR.
Applicants can also qualify for Permanent residency under one of the Provincial Nominee Programs.
Other Programs expected to Attract more tech talent to Canada:
Within this year, another ‘Innovative Program’ as the Canadian Government has described it, is expected to be announced under the International Mobility Program (IMP). The IMP allows Canadian Employers hire foreign talent without the need of a Labour Market Impact Assessment. This program is aimed to attract more tech talent and build innovative businesses in Canada.